Most folks have a most embarrassing moment, whether they wish to divulge it or not. I am one of these folks, and I am not embarrassed to share it with you. To set the scene, picture a teenager attending Catholic schools from kindergarten thru high school and living in the quintessential Catholic Bubble. Naturally, you can imagine this would go one of two ways: I would rebel early, pierce my nose and dye my hair as well as experiment with booze, drugs and altar boys OR I would remain highly sheltered and extremely unexperienced in any of the above categories. To end the suspense, I will tell you that I was in the latter category. Given the religious tilt of my education, it should come as no surprise to you that the only statement made in my Sophomore health class was “sex exists but you will not experience it before marriage” and then the hour became another study hall for the remainder of the semester. No instruction, no explanations. While I am sure that was my parents ideal class for their young daughter, it left me unprepared and unaware of a few things that my unsheltered peers were well versed in.
Fast forward 3 years. I am fresh out of high school and learning to be an adult. Well, trying. I decide to treat my dad to a Father’s Day fishing excursion ON MY OWN DIME. I saved and made arrangements for us to go on a 3 hour chartered deep sea fishing experience. He seemed pretty touched by the whole thing, especially because I was not the ideal fishing partner as a kid (on account of all my talking and scaring the fish).
You have correctly discerned at this point that fishing was not my thing, so about an hour into the excursion, I happily hung up my rod and just hung with my old man, who loved casting out, trolling and such. As the boat was heading it to dock, my dad wanted to cast out his line one more time but the bait (trout fish) kept slipping from his grip before he could get it on the line. WIth complete and utter sincerity, I offered to assist by confidently stating “Let me do it Dad, I am the master baiter.”
When you say that line out loud, which is of course how he and the ENTIRE boat heard it, it seemed that I had just confessed something to my father of a very personal nature. I quickly realized what it sounded like, though I had no clue as to what the act meant thanks to my thorough Catholic education. I got very quiet and felt embarrassed for legitimately the first time in my life. This moment was further aided by the Captain laughing into the microphone, as he had been about to make an announcement to everyone on the boat when he heard my proclamation. As he, my father and all of the other fishing folks on board laughed, I waited for my invisibility cloak to whisk me away. Spoiler alert: it didn’t. Instead, my father managed to break from his deep belly laughter to ask if there was “anything else that I wanted him to know.” My wit had returned, so I casually replied “Nope, that about covers it Pops.”
I was embarrassed by that moment and the re-telling of it for a short while, and then I realized how hysterical it all was. Now I use that story as an ice breaker in some situations and I enjoy watching others relax, laugh and visibly thank their higher power that it didn’t happen to them. It was a great goof when it happened, and it continues to provide great laughter to anyone I tell, as well as my father and myself. I am not embarrassed, because I am human. And to answer your one remaining question, yes I have since learned at least some of the things that the Catholic school refused to teach me as a youth. 😉